Many growers love to grow not only flowering plants, but also evergreens, with rich greenery and high decorative qualities. Croton also belongs to such colors.
- Description of codiaum
- Plant varieties
- How to care for codiaum
- How to transplant a flower?
- Pest and disease control
- Methods of reproduction of codiaum
Description of codiaum
Croton, or codiaum, belongs to the Euphorbia family. The flower got this name thanks to the Greek language: Codeia means "head". It is an evergreen deciduous shrub with variegated leathery shiny leaves and semi-lignified branches.
The juice is poisonous, released when the crown and branches are damaged. The color of the leaves is green, bright red streaks and numerous yellow, pink, purple blotches stand out on them.
In nature, the codiaum can reach 1.5 - 2 meters, and in indoor conditions, as a rule, it is a low bush. Shapes vary according to height: they can be oval, elongated, wide, with smooth or wavy edges.
Croton blooms quite rarely, and these flowers look completely undecorated: they are light and inconspicuous in a hanging brush. Therefore, flower buds are almost always plucked out so that the plant does not waste energy and juices on them.
Homeland - South Asia, the islands of Australia and the Pacific Ocean.
The most interesting types of croton are:
This species forms a lush bush with numerous branches, oval-shaped leaves, bright green with yellow veins, are arranged alternately.
The leaves of this species are lanceolate, narrow, more dense than usual. Burgundy, yellow, purple stripes are clearly visible on them.
The crown of the bush is very similar to oak leaves due to its fused three-lobed leaves. There are white, burgundy spots and stripes on them, on the lower surface there is more pink.
It is found in the form of a bush or small tree. The leaves are elongated, wide, with smooth edges and have pink, purple spots and golden stains on them.
How to care for codiaum
This overseas guest is quite picky about growing conditions and care. He loves high humidity and temperature, as in the tropics, so greenhouses or indoor greenhouses are ideal growing options. But drafts are simply contraindicated, you cannot take a container with a flower outside, leave open windows nearby, especially in a cold period.
Care consists of several components:
- Choosing a place.
- Temperature conditions.
- Top dressing.
- Pest control.
- Correctly organized wintering.
The plant needs a well-lit place with simultaneous protection from direct sunlight, east and west windows in the house are the best place for pots.
From lack of lighting, the leaves lose their color, become faded, colorless. In winter, daylight can be supplemented with artificial light in the form of simple 100-watt bulbs suspended at a distance of 70-75 cm from the crown.
Growth temperature plays a very important role. The temperature regime should be constant, in winter not lower than 16 degrees, and the rest - up to 25 degrees.
Water the flower sparingly, constantly keeping the soil in the pot moist, but do not overfill with water. To prevent the soil from souring, not being too heavy, use a pot with drainage holes and a pallet with gravel.
Water for irrigation is used at room temperature; the plant may have an unpredictable reaction to watering with cold water. It is useful to often spray the crown from a spray bottle, in this way you can temporarily humidify the air around the pot.
Dry air contributes to the drying and falling of foliage, as well as the reproduction of weevils and spider mites.
Such dry croton branches need pruning, but be careful, when pruning, poisonous white milk is released. In addition to spraying, it is worth wiping bright leaves as they become dirty for full photosynthesis and gas exchange.
During the growing season, it is necessary to apply mineral fertilizers according to the scheme: 2-3 times in spring, summer and autumn, and once in winter is enough. Fertilizers should be bought in specialized stores and carefully read the instructions.
How to transplant a flower?
Codiaum does not require frequent transplants, for a young bush, a transplant is necessary 1-2 times a year, and for older flowers much less often, in spring, depending on the rate of root growth. The bush for transplanting must be completely healthy, and must not bloom, otherwise it can quickly die.
Pots are chosen from plastic or clay, with large drainage holes, shards or charcoal are placed on the bottom. The transplantation takes place in a transshipment way, that is, you cannot disturb the clod of earth from the previous pot, but only gently get it out and move it to a new one, several cm more in diameter than the previous one.
The soil mixture is used as usual for indoor ornamental plants. Most importantly, it should be lightweight, well-drained and breathable.
The soil can be bought in flower shops, or you can prepare it yourself, for this they mix:
- Leafy soil.
- Well rotted manure.
- Coarse river sand.
Sometimes charcoal is added to such a mixture as disinfection or the soil is spilled with a weak solution of potassium permanganate before planting and dried. Drainage is placed on the bottom of the pot, soil mixture is poured on top, lightly watered and a small hole is made.
In this hole, together with a lump of earth, a codiaum is placed and all the remaining voids are filled with soil, slightly crushing it, and the transplanted flower is well watered.
Organization of wintering. In winter, codiaum is grown in bright rooms with a constant temperature of 17-18 degrees and the leaves are constantly kept clean by wiping them with a damp soft cloth from dust.
The pots can be placed close to radiators and radiators, moss can be laid out on the surface of the potting soil to slow down the evaporation of moisture.
Pest and disease control
Diseases often arise as a result of improper care, non-observance of the temperature regime and irrigation regime. Constant exposure to sunlight will provoke burns on the leaves, and a lack of light will lead to their fading, loss of brightness.
Stagnation of moisture in the pallet leads to rotting of the root system. And with rare watering and low humidity in the room, the ends of the leaves begin to acquire a brown tint, and then dry out completely.
The plant is poisonous, so many pests bypass this tropical guest, but with constant dry air and rare spraying, washing the branches, spider mites, weevils and scale insects settle on it.
A spider mite is a small red spider that lives on the back of the leaves and entangles them with its white web. It is removed quite simply: it is necessary to rinse the crown, especially from the underside with a weak soapy solution, tobacco infusion, or regularly treat it with insecticides. Acaricidal preparations (neoron) are used. After using the soap solution, it is washed off after a few hours with plain water.
Fighting the scabbard is more time consuming and takes more time. Adults are covered with special "shields" that do not allow any chemicals to pass through and protect the pest. At first, the scale insects are invisible, and after a while the branches are covered with dark spots, in which there are adults, and the larvae creep out from under the scutes.
Processing is carried out repeatedly to completely eliminate the scabbard. They use soap - tobacco solutions, sometimes denatured alcohol or a product purchased in a specialized store is added there. And the insects under the shields are removed with a slightly damp cotton pad, wiping all the stems and leaves.
Methods of reproduction of codiaum
Croton reproduces in three ways:
- By cuttings
- By dividing the bush
When propagating by cuttings, healthy stem cuttings from lignified shoots are selected. Cuttings should be 7-10 cm in length, cut in late spring or early summer.
Before planting, they must be rooted, they do this in warm water of 23-24 degrees, you can use various stimulants of root growth. Such cuttings grow into powerful, sturdy shrubs adapted to indoor conditions.
Rooted cuttings are sown in prepared pots with a diameter of 6-7 cm, the soil is bought or made independently, mixing in a ratio of 2: 1: 1/2:
- Leafy ground
- River sand
For the stability of the cutting, a stick is stuck next to it. Until the cuttings are completely rooted, the soil in the pot should always be moistened, and after complete rooting, they are gradually accustomed to loose soil and air intake, and then transplanted into containers of a larger diameter.
If the bush has grown too large and it is cramped in the pot, it is necessary to divide it and transplant it into different pots. Division, as well as cuttings, is carried out in the spring. First, new pots and soil are prepared, the bush itself is well watered one day before dividing.
Seating is carried out as follows: a flower is carefully taken out of the pot and divided into several parts: the main bush and basal little children. The adult bush itself is transplanted into a large container, and small children are planted in small containers, covered with plastic wrap or glass and placed in a warm place.
For good survival, the bushes are watered daily, keeping the substrate moist and maintaining a temperature of about 30 degrees at the roots.
Seed propagation is the most difficult method, since croton rarely blooms and the seeds ripen poorly. Seed material is bought ready-made or harvested by yourself. After flowering, the seeds form in a capsule, they are harvested and sowed towards the end of winter. 1-2 days before sowing, it is advisable to soak the seeds in special preparations, for example, with root to improve germination.
The seeds are spread over the surface of the pot, lightly sprinkled with a sand-peat mixture and covered with glass or film. Every day, the shelter must be removed, ventilated and sprayed on the soil surface.
Seeds usually germinate in 21-30 days.
Croton is a beautiful ornamental plant that requires a little more attention than other potted inhabitants. And if the florist provides it with proper conditions and care, it will show itself in all its glory and will delight for a long time with its bright foliage.
How to transplant croton after purchase, watch the video: